A group of friends go to the beach, but Nora isn’t having fun. This anxious drama from director Ryan Martin Brown throws us into the interior life of a young woman who’s starving, dehydrated, and perturbed about the lack of plans amongst her friends. A film about group dynamics — being stuck on other people’s timelines and meal schedules, or lack thereof, while being vegan — it punctuates its unease with a piercing oboe score. “Can we try to have some fun, please?” her boyfriend, Jordan, pleads. But Nora can’t, because she didn’t know the plan and now it’s too late. She’s weak and flustered, and potato chips and watermelon aren’t enough to bring her back. In terms of small issues that feel big at the time, “Nora at the Beach” gets it exactly right. Ultimately, it’s not about the hunger, as much as it is about communication and expectations.
Directed by Ryan Martin Brown. Starring Emily DeForest and Freddy Poey. Produced by Paula Andrea Gonzalez. D.P. Trevor Viner. Edited by Byron Leon.